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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 07-01-2011, 06:06 AM
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Default Trout Bum to branch out?

I love trout fishing... everything about it. My problem is I simply can't afford the time commitment to drive to the rivers and streams while still getting in quality time on the water. I'm just too damn busy.

But I also love fly fishing - and I know there are smallmouth options near me. My issue is that I have no idea where to start. I'm a trout fisherman - been dunking worms or throwing spinners all my life before fly fishing. I've fished bass before, with a spinning rod, and threw spinners or rapalas. It's been a long time. So my questions are many and I've not found much information on technique. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right places. I'll be looking at river fishing, not still water. Is it all dead drift or striping streamers? Nymph fishing? I could really use a little direction. I'm confident in my rod / reel selection will work - one missing item in the quiver is a 6 wt. with fighting butt but I have a Z-Axis 5 wt. that I will use. If I find it too light, I've a couple 7's and an 8 that I use for Steelhead and Salmon.

I'm dying to get on the river.

Cheers,
Mike.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Trout Bum to branch out?

I warm water fish, along with trout. When I smallie fish, I throw streamers I tie on size 4 aberdeen hooks and top waters (sliders). (aka sneaky pete's for example). Crayfish patterns work well also. A six weight is fine. Believe it or not, I use a four weight more than anything. As for my tippet, I prefer to use 6 lb. test mono off my furled leader.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: Trout Bum to branch out?

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Old 07-01-2011, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: Trout Bum to branch out?

Welcome to the FUN side of fly fishing... in my opinion. Clousers, crawfish imitations and pretty much anything you throw for big browns will work for smallies. Hellgrammite patterns and gurglers should also be in your staple. Hit alot of the same places you do for trout on a stream or lake and the equivalent warm water fish will be there. Swinging streamers is good, just as well as dead drifting crayfish or hellies. Stripping streamers is also a lot of fun too.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Trout Bum to branch out?

Hang on to your dry flies too- the bigger ones like Hexes and other Drakes, Stimulators, Hoppers and large Wullffs are a good choice. A lot of rivers and streams in the East and midwest get a White Fly hatch around dusk and into early evening during August. It's a large white mayfly that often hatches in such huge numbers that flight s are often picked up on weather radar. It's around a size 12 or 14, so something easy to see in low light, and sturdy construction like a White Wulff is a good choice. You might ask around to see if you can find smallmouth streams known for this hatch in your area.

Other trout flies you probably have that should work are stuff that pushes a lot of water like muddlers, marabou muddlers, zonkers as well as most any streamer or bucktail and bugger you might have.

Other good choices for smallmouth:

Traditional bucktail Clousers and variations like the Foxee Clouser, crayfish imitations, hellgrammites to lose among the rocks,

Top water stuff like Gurglers or Sneaky Petes, deer hair bass bugs to blurp along the surface

and stuff that floats at rest but dives on retrieve like Dahlberg Divers are also good choices for Smallmouth.

I like to try and get them on top if i can, but often go to an unweighted Muddler, or Marabou Muddler (or a similar fly that pushes a lot of water like the Flash Dancer) on a short heavy leader off a sink tip fly line. The combination of floating fly and sinking tip gets the fly down but helps to keep it out of the rocks. Here's a pic and recipe for a Flash Dancer:

Flash Dancer

Good luck-- let us know how you do.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:09 PM
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Default

I totally get the smallmouth thing after a recent trip to lake MI. We were targeting carp but ended up catching a bunch of smallies, and those bulldogs are a great fly rod quarry. We have em out west on the Columbia if I can tear myself from my carp flats.

Thanks for the book info, I will check those out.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:40 AM
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Default Re: Trout Bum to branch out?

Tossing streamers for Smallies would not really be all that different than tossing streamers for Browns...

Forget the 5 weight man, use your 7 weight, you can fish crayfish patterns under an indicator, just think of it as nymphing on a larger scale...

One thing is for sure, you may not consider yourself a Trout Bum after a few good days of chasing Smallies

Good luck!
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